Thursday, July 25, 2024

Jesse L. Emery, 61

Jesse L. Emery (Quinn McGowen Funeral Home)

WILMINGTON — Jesse L. Emery, 61, of Wilmington, NC passed away on June 11, 2024. He was born on September 5, 1962 in Westfield, NY to his parents, Clifford G. Emery, Jr. and Marilyn I. Menz Emery. He was named after his grandfather, Jesse Menz. Ironically, Jesse spent a great deal of time with his grandfather and loved him dearly.

As a child, Jesse spent every summer day at Mayville Lakeside Park for years. It was like a second home. His grandparents ran the concession stand and he took swimming lessons with Doc Malinowski. In the afternoons, he would play kickball, steal the flag, basketball, tennis and shuffleboard. Many nights he spent with his cousins. Those were the best of times for him.

Jesse was a competitive athlete. He played little league as a child and excelled in track, basketball and tennis. His track team held the Westfield, NY school record for relay and went to State in 1978. He attended basketball camp in NY City and the Larry Weise camp at St. Bonaventure. He was named Iceman for his left-handed hook shot. You would see him running the road from Westfield to Brocton with a basketball in hand. He would play basketball and then run back. Jesse also enjoyed playing tennis with John Habjan, Mr. Young, Barb Stephenson, Andy Alonge and Michelle Alonge. Aunt Janet made a scrapbook of his athletic achievements.

At the age of 23, Jesse joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for four years. He had a love of history and pride for our country. He was meticulous with his uniform and rifle for his inspections. Jesse was sent to dangerous areas of the world trying to rescue Terry Anderson in Beirut and locating Gaddafi in Libya. He also completed jungle training at Fort Sherman in Panama. He was always the first to volunteer and when others complained during training, he would also carry their packs. One time he had to tie a rope around his waist, swim across the Panama Canal and tie the rope off so his fellow Marines could get to the other side. Jesse spent six months in Okinawa, Japan at Mt. Fuji for training. He also was in Benidorm Spain and Monaco off the coast of the Mediterranean where he had his famous Bugs Bunny and Tasmanian Devil tattoo. He was honored to meet General Kelly and shake Ronald Reagan’s hand.

As a veteran, Jesse was very appreciative of his doctor, Thomas Marcinowski, and nurse, Ashley Weeks, who provided assistance with his care and obtained all needed medical supplies, Dr. Charkoudian who provided essential medical help with his eyesight, Erin Daniels’ medical team at DaVita Dialysis, and his caregivers, Aline, Sharon, Beth, Brooke and Robert. Jesse had a couple lengthy hospital stays at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and we are grateful for the care he received. We are especially grateful to his sister, Colleen Nelson-Cannon for her support. She was instrumental in providing guidance with his medical issues.

Jesse was a longtime member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC. He enjoyed the powerful church messages and you could see him tearing up on many occasions. He loved Pastor Arnold Griffin deeply. He especially loved hearing the Pastor sing “The King and I.” Jesse was told he was an inspiration to many and he loved all church members of Fellowship Baptist Church. They helped take him to doctor appointments, assisted with his mobility at church and sent many cards and well wishes.

Besides his many friends at church, Jesse had a close relationship with Bob and Melissa Johnston. Bob Johnston led Jesse to the Lord.

Jesse will be sorely missed by all those who met him. He always had a story to tell, strongly voiced his political views while constantly praising our country and the sacrifice others made for our freedom. We will surely miss that infectious smile.

In addition to his parents, Jesse is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Theresa Marie Emery; son, Austin Emery; brothers, Brad Emery (Monica) and Gavin Emery; sisters, Denyiel Gelen (Jim), Colleen Nelson-Cannon (Tim), and Marcia Samonia (Mark); and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other family members.

A memorial service will be held at Fellowship Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC on Friday, June 14, 2024 at 11am with Pastor Arnold Griffin officiating.

A memorial service will be held at Freay Funeral Home in Mayville, NY on Friday, June 21, 2024 at 12pm with Pastor Dan Prewitt officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow the service at Mayville Cemetery.

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family here.

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